Buildium’s 2021 State of the Industry Report found that nearly 54 percent of community managers used social media to communicate and market in 2020. This is a powerful tool that property managers can use to engage current residents and owners and market themselves to prospective ones.
There is a general idea among social media marketers that the more people you reach, the better. However, this is not always the case, as you also need to consider the quality of your audience. A lead is not useful if it is not going to be successful.
To be successful in targeting a local audience for your property management and rental business on social media and with content marketing, focus your efforts on creating content that appeals to that audience and sharing it on social media platforms popular with them.
Here’s how to do that in six steps.
1. Start by identifying the right neighborhood(s) to specialize in
Before you decide to focus your business on a particular neighborhood, you should make sure that it makes sense to do so from an economic standpoint.
You can figure this out pretty quickly by performing the following analysis:
Conduct a market study by gathering data from the US Census on your zip code and consulting your local real estate board and MLS for statistics on your target neighborhood.
In addition to official statistics websites, there are also private websites like NeighborhoodScout that can give you a more detailed report about a specific area for a small price.
Neighborhood stats that’ll help you choose your target neighborhood include:
- New listings
- Pending sales
- Closed sales
- Median sales price
- Average days on market
- Inventory of homes for sale
- Month’s supply of inventory
If you understand the numbers behind the market, you can better understand how much potential sales volume there is in that market.
2. Calculate the neighborhood’s economic potential
Once you have collected all of the relevant data, determine the average commission you can make from selling a home in the area. Doing so will give you a better idea of how much work will be required to meet your financial goal.
3. Learn the lay of the land
If you want to be an expert on a certain neighborhood, you can’t just do a quick internet search. You have to meet people and explore the area, especially if it’s somewhere you’re unfamiliar with.
Start by exploring the entire neighbourhood on foot, by bike or by car. Look for landmarks such as historic buildings, schools, event halls, sports arenas, bus stops, shops and parks.
If you are one of our clients, you can take pictures or videos of the area and upload them to the Area Guide pages on your website.
Learn the locations of streets, the quickest routes to major highways, the airport, and train stations. In other words, your goal is to become familiar with the area so that you can navigate it like Google Maps.
to get the best idea of what types of inventory you can expect to find. You will need to be familiar with the types of homes available in the area, as well as the types of people who live there, in order to have the best idea of the types of inventory you will be able to find.
Find answers to some of the most important questions that interested buyers are likely to ask, such as:
- Is your neighborhood primarily made up of high-rise condos, mid-rise apartments, townhomes, or detached single family units?
- Are there any major gated communities?
- What’s the age range in the area?
- What’s the median household income?
- What kind of jobs do people have?
- How are people financing their home purchases?
- What’s the unemployment rate?
- Is the population growing, shrinking, or remaining the same?
4. Connect with small businesses
There are always a few small businesses in every town, city, and neighborhood that are popular with the locals. These places are often synonymous with the local community, whether it’s a family-owned restaurant, a historical landmark museum, or an eclectic gift shop.
If you make an effort to connect with the small business owners in your area, you will become an expert in your local area.
Say something like: Hi, my name is _______ and I’m a local real estate specialist. I wanted to highlight some of our community’s most popular attractions.
If you want to help promote someone else’s business, you can offer to feature their business on your blog, YouTube channel, and social media accounts as part of your content marketing campaign.
This is a great way for local businesses to get free advertising, and by featuring them in your content marketing, you’re showing that you’re the go-to expert in your community.
Some local businesses have marketing opportunities that are often a great value.
5. Get involved in the community
When selling real estate, trust is a very important aspect of your brand. This is because you are helping people make one of the biggest decisions of their lives.
If you want to learn more about how to use social proof to inspire trust online, read this article.
If you want to convince your neighbors that you are a competent and trustworthy real estate professional, you need to get involved in the community.
There are many ways you can make yourself more visible in the community, but be aware that these usually require more work.
For example, you can:
- Get involved with a local charity — Volunteering with charitable organizations in your area will demonstrate your commitment to the betterment of your community.
- Sponsor a little-league team — Sponsoring your local little-league team is a fantastic brand marketing strategy that makes you synonymous with family values and community engagement.
- Attend a local town council meeting — From potholes, new school buses, and city ordinances, everything that happens in these meetings can affect your business. This is a great way to keep your clients in the ‘hyperlocal loop’ and one of the best ways to craft unique, value-heavy, hyperlocal content that you can send out to your email list.
6. Create hyperlocal content for your real estate blog and social media profiles
Don’t be shy about sharing your hard-earned knowledge with others!
Top-producing agents are successful because they are able to connect everything they do. This allows them to accomplish multiple tasks with a single action.
If someone writes a review of a local restaurant, they will share it on their blog, social media, and local Facebook groups. They will also try to leave their business card with the owner or establish a mutually beneficial relationship with them.
Do your actions make sense and have a positive impact?
Your website and social media pages are great tools for building your credentials as a local expert. You can use them to engage with locals online about everything that’s going on in the area.
Pieces of content you can share include:
- Your personal reviews of local restaurants
- Property tours
- Calendars of upcoming events
- News about local real estate developments
- Pictures and videos of local events
- Stories about some of your happy clients
- Infographics (which you can have these made inexpensively at Fiverr.com)
- Reasons why your community is a great place to live
If you regularly update your blog and social media accounts with valuable content that’s relevant to your readers, you will further cement yourself as the local expert.
7. Optimize Your Website
The content you create should lead your target audience back to your website. Optimize your website to make it user-friendly and informative. Make sure your listings are up-to-date.
Find out which words and phrases people are using to find information relating to your business niche, and include those terms in your content and on your landing pages. This will help your site show up in local searches.
A landing page is a web page that people are directed to after clicking on a search engine results page. If you are catering to different target markets, you should have a separate landing page for each one. Each landing page should contain local search terms as well as information, images, and possibly a link to a local blog that is relevant to that particular market.
8. Research Your Target Audience(s)
Once you understand all of that, you can start creating content that speaks directly to them. You can’t just start creating content without understanding who you’re talking to. You need to know who your current renters and property owners are, as well as the local culture and demographics of the areas your properties are in. Only then can you start making content that will resonate with your audience.
What are your target audience’s priorities when they are searching for housing or a property manager?
You can create content your target audience will care about by knowing them well. This content does not necessarily have to be related to your properties. Posting about local events, local weather, or relatable gifs will help engage your audience.
9. Harness the Power of Virtual Events
Since the pandemic struck in March 2020, events that would normally attract new residents have been close to impossible to hold. Many businesses that relied on these in-person events have had to get creative, and have turned to virtual events.
PMs can do the same for both current and prospective residents. Here are a few ideas:
- Hold a virtual interior decorating class that showcases a vacant unit for prospective residents and promotes other local businesses and even craftspeople. This also demonstrates your abilities and branding to owners looking for a property manager.
- For current residents, partner with a company that provides activity kits and hold a virtual cooking, crafting, or woodworking class. There are even cocktail kits for virtual happy hours.
- Bring in an accountant to teach a class on taxes or basic finances via Zoom for new owners or for residents.
- You can even get creative with smaller groups. Apps like HouseParty allow you to play games virtually with up to eight other people. Get smaller groups of residents or even employees together to have a little fun. (Remember, your employees are as much brand ambassadors as you are.)
- Target your events to your property locations and your audience to optimize your reach and audience engagement.
There is a lot of content on social media that is trying to get users’ attention. It can be difficult for a local business to stand out from all of the other content, but it is possible.
Some things to keep in mind when using social media to market your business are to focus on the channel that will reach your target audience most, and to consist of content that will grab their attention. Another tip is to target potential customers that are more likely to convert to clients, and to make your social media marketing specific to the area your properties are in. Finally, always be aware of what is going on around you.
Becoming the go-to agent in your area will take some time and effort, but it will be worth it in the long run. You will be building your brand and reputation, which will result in more business.
You will attract more buyers, sellers and referrals by being better equipped to help them with their real estate goals. This will also help you attract even more buyers, sellers and referrals in a never-ending cycle.
Before you focus your efforts on specific areas, do some research to figure out which areas will be most beneficial to focus on. Then find opportunities that will be successful both online and offline to provide value to potential and future buyers. This will also help to establish you as the local expert.